Member of APPCC
Pet crematorium gets the thumbs up from independent inspectors
A Hampshire pet crematorium has become the first operator of its kind in the region to be accredited under a new independent inspection scheme which guarantees a highly professional and dignified send-off for pets.
Dignity Pet Crematorium passed a series of vigorous workplace assessments to be awarded a coveted ‘badge of honour’ which sets it apart from other services offering pet funerals.
So far just a handful of businesses across the country have achieved ‘Independently Inspected and Approved’ membership of the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries and Crematoria.
The APPCC decided to introduce the inspections following a spate of alarming press reports about pets being treated in death simply as waste – much to the distress of the owners.
The aim was to boost confidence in the pet funeral industry by establishing a meaningful system of regulation.
Examples of bad practice included a couple who left their beloved dog with their vet for him to be cremated locally, only to discover to their horror that he had been transported with commercial waste to a giant crematorium operating far away on an industrial scale. This was legal but the service fell short of the respectful cremation service that they were expecting.
Another woman complained that when her cat was cremated only a ‘mouse’ worth of ashes were returned to her.
The assessments of Dignity Pet Crematorium were conducted by The Consultant Connection (TCC) which specialises in consumer code compliance.
Experienced inspectors examined every aspect of the operation, from the way services are described in marketing literature to how costs and options are explained to pet owners.
As well as being satisfied that the pet crematorium was operating legally and efficiently, a key part of the inspection focused on the care and respect given to a pet – from the moment it arrived at the premises to when it was buried or cremated.
The assessors were also happy that bereaved pet owners are given adequate time to make rational decisions on the type of service which best suits their budgets and requirements.
Kevin Spurgeon, owner of Dignity Pet Crematorium and Director of the APPCC said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to have been given this special accreditation which I hope will reassure people that we adhere to the highest standards possible in terms of looking after both them and their family pet.”
“We have been operating for 23 years now and are always conscious of the need to behave professionally and with great sensitivity when dealing with people who are distraught at the loss of their much loved companions. We have direct contact with pet owners, describe everything clearly and give them time to make an informed decision, which is why we encourage people to contact us directly to arrange anything.”
“We see little difference between the loss of a person and a pet in terms of the upset that it causes which is why we always respect and treat them with the utmost care and dignity on their final journey. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen elsewhere and too often a pet may just be treated as waste to be disposed of, rather than as a member of the family.”
A spokesman for the APPCC said: “To be meaningful to the public, it is was essential that the inspections had to be both thorough and independent. The company carrying out the tests has nothing to do whatsoever with the pet funeral industry and it drafted a new consumer code for participating members.
“This code is fully geared towards protecting the public. Nothing like this has ever been seen before in the pet funeral sector.
He added: “It is vital that people know exactly what is going to happen to their pet after death. In the emotional aftermath of losing a pet there is a danger people can be misled by flowery terms and gain the impression that the process taking place behind closed doors will happen in a far nicer way that is often the reality. People can now be assured they will be put completely in the picture so they can choose the service which best suits their needs.”
The APPCC has been setting international standards for the pet funeral industry for the past 20 years and boasts worldwide membership. For more information visit appcc.org.uk